Friday 30 March 2012


Totally not BIM related but of some interest.

Cooee! is a shout used in Australia, usually in the Bush, to attract attention, find missing people, or indicate one's own location.

I used cooee a lot as a kid growing up in the outback of South Australia and as a teenager traipsing around the bush off the coast of New South Wales. A colleague in my office mentioned it but however not in this reference, it made me question the origin of this unique call.

"Sections quoted from Wikipedia"

When done correctly - loudly and shrilly - a call of "cooee" can carry over a considerable distance. It is also known for a call of help in which can blend in to different natural sounds in the bush.

The word "cooee" originates from the Dharuk language of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Sydney area. It means "come here" and has now become widely used in Australia as a call over distances.

Richard White indicates the important means of demonstrating Australian nationality with the call taking on a consciously nationalistic meaning. He also documents its spread through the Empire, to New Zealand and South Africa.

So if your ever out in the bush and you hear some calling coooweee it's not a bird or a crazy person (well... maybe crazy!) it's just a lost Aussie.


  1. When I lived in Holland, my friends and I used to do the same thing but we said oooooaaaah. Same kind of thing, wonder if it has a similar history? Guess I have to search Wikipedia and see!

    1. Yeah, funny eh, I expect many cultures to a common call.
      Should develop a calling to summon my user group members! Reeevitttt!